Seniors often experience effects of aging that can make it hard for them to drive as well as younger people. Other than teens, seniors are the demographic group with the highest car crash rate. This is true even though seniors are the least likely age group to drive while intoxicated by alcohol. It is the physical and cognitive decline experienced by seniors which makes older motorists prone to car crashes, more so than negligent behavior.
Seniors often don't know when it is time for them to stop driving; it may be up to their kids to get involved. Anyone who has aging parents needs to know about the risks of their parents being hurt in car accidents or being held liable for injuring others. It is a smart choice for young people to take some steps to protect their parents from causing harm.
Tips to Prevent West Virginia Senior Car Accidents
Recently, Huffington Post published five tips for children whose parents are getting older to help those children prevent senior car accidents. Other young friends and relatives of seniors can also follow the tips to help protect people who should no longer drive.
- Encourage exercise: When older people exercise more, they maintain more flexibility and better posture. Research has also shown higher physical fitness levels correlate directly with better driving skills for older motorists. A senior who keeps in better shape is less likely to be a danger behind the wheel.
- Monitor driving ability: Because seniors may not realize their physical or mental limitations have affected driving ability - or may not want to admit they can't drive any more - it often falls on kids to make sure parents stop driving when the parents get too old. If you have any concerns about whether your parents can still drive safely, encourage them to get an evaluation by a doctor.
- Suggest a driving refresher course: A refresher course can help save seniors money on car insurance and can also reduce the risk that an older motorist will cause a collision to occur.
- Check out the car: Many seniors keep their cars for a long time and older cars might not have the best safety features. If you have older relatives who drive, check to make sure their car is maintained and in good operating condition. It may also be worth considering encouraging an upgrade to a new vehicle with better safety technologies installed, some of which are actually specific to senior drivers.
- Limit driving: When it becomes unsafe for a senior to drive, kids may have to take action to get their parents to stop. It may also make sense to limit certain kinds of driving, like nighttime driving, as an interim step.
While making the decision to give up driving can be a big decision and many seniors are reluctant, it is important for younger friends and relatives to monitor older people who continue to operate vehicles. If you have any concerns about rising car accident risks, take action and talk with seniors as soon as possible to reduce the chances of accidents occurring.
Contact a West Virginia accident attorney at the Recht Law Offices. Call 1-800-487-8546 today for a free consultation or visit https://www.rechtlaw.com.